Barbara Sher’s Idea Party

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How Does the Online Idea Party Work?

You have a dream or a wish, and an obstacle to getting there. (If you don’t think you know your wish, work through my kick-starter and read this post. To learn why you must put logic aside to find your dream, read the following.)

The online Idea Party is here to help you – and the other fellow party goers – with your wishes and obstacles.

Voices from Success Teams and Idea Parties:

Having a team to report to and hearing what everybody did each week is very exciting. It’s kept me moving all year. In the past I made some good starts on my own, but found, every time, when the energy ran out, I ran out. Now it doesn’t run out.
Jade G.
Children’s Playroom Therapist, New York Hospital

I would do a painting a year, a sketch a year. If it was only me I know I would never do it. Having to tell you makes all the difference. It’s crazy why I didn’t do this years ago, it’s so easy all of a sudden.
Caroline R. Personnel Executive, Macy’s Dept Store

Post Your Wish and Your Obstacle Here!

And help your team mates out when you can. Use the Reply link to help, the form below the comments to add your own Wish and Obstacle.

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4,435 thoughts on “Barbara Sher’s Idea Party

  1. hi i will attempt this question with you since the universe stopped me from leveraging this platform in different ways.

    When i feel like I’m in lacking inspiration or hope for something great in the future, i look for some excitement or a new project. I while i was on the lookout for something that uplifts me….
    I saw this lady fly by through the grocery with nice wide pants with some adornment and i immediately shifted and felt that would be so freeing to do adornments on pants and experience freedom

    so i started looking for fabrics and pants to create more fun and colourful pant.

    i just started a couple of months ago and I have painted some and others adorned them and found some people like them including men. 

    I know there is nothing to stop me from doing this I just need to buy stuff and play and create. I try to use 2nd hand too.

    However, in this path, i met a bit of resistance from people trying to get it for free and with so many promises.

    i want to get paid real money and would like to license it if they monetize or brand with it. Not sure of the details since you need a contractual agreement. 

     Obviously some people will just wear the pants but some are artists and will want to be seen in it. there are so many things that can happen. To know about licensing when i am new at monetizing art work. This may be a hindrance.

    I Feel that doing it for others takes long to capture what they want and you never know if they will like it and the colour and positioning etc. This may be a hindrance.

    I want to feel freedom and joy and impart this to others. 

    Not sure about the marketing but I like the idea of movement, like upcycling movement idea and sharing circle idea. I like the idea that a common denominator creates a tribe. I like the idea that artistic work i brought to light and that more may join it.

    I do bodywork and this would be the 2nd product.

    ty in advance, if you can bring up in my radar other idea that may inspire me more?  

    I don’t find the people very creative here as other places though. This may be a hindrance.

    • A quick lesson from Barbara Sher: Praise makes us brave. You might try praising every bit of creativity you see instead of saying “I don’t find the people very creative here as other places though. This may be a hindrance.” Sometimes, people are less creative in public because they fear being seen as different or odd, both of which are quite necessary to creativity. Praise what they fear others will criticize and watch them grow braver with their marvelous ideas.

      Your idea is a wonderful one. If you need more materials, check around for any fabric mills near you. I used to get so many roll ends from the ones in Massachusetts for my sewing classes for kids living in poverty. You could also watch for the Joann Fabrics closeout sales, as they will soon close many of their stores. Our sewing machines for the classes were donated by sewing machine repair shops when they couldn’t sell their trade-ins. And check for any declutter or recycle Facebook groups in your area. I have a large box of fabric that will go on the Galloway, NJ group tomorrow, along with lots of threads in many colors.

      You can also work your way up to launching your pants with adornments idea: when I was in college, so long ago, I bought woven cotton ribbons from Mexico that become hippie belts with the addition of just two brass drapery rings. I sold them in the dorms and (probably in violation of some law) in Harvard Square for quick cash to go after bigger dreams. Not much of a market for hippie belts today, but I expect there is something similar that you could make very easily and sell.

      Just as your ideas come from seeing someone else’s pants, you will not be able to stop others from competing with your pants, so licensing with anyone legit is probably not an option in the short term. Don’t worry about that. Worry about building your tribe of people who wouldn’t wear any but yours. If they like free, price them so that you can offer Buy Two Get One Free. And wear a pair yourself whenever you visit busy places that your prospective customers might visit. Make sure you have a pocket full of creative business cards to give to anyone who compliments them. Or anyone whose clothing you would like to compliment. (Remember, praise–for their fashion risks–makes them brave, so they become more likely to check out your designs.)

      To make people feel more like part of the tribe, you could have a questionnaire on your website. The first question might be this:

      Who you are inspires what I design. Which would you prefer?
      * Design something just for me (it’s just $5 extra, and you can buy or not after I show you the design)
      * Let me choose from your existing designs

      Then ask some questions that might inspire your adornments and colors, and get their name, size, and email address, where you will send them a drawing of your design for them with a Buy Now button. At each step in your questionnaire, remember that your goal is to make them feel special and brave in their fashion choices.

      When you have a large enough audience, hire an attorney to get you through the licensing process and help you find investors to mass-produce your designs. But not now. Sell them for a price that suggests you know how special they are, because your real customers want to feel special wearing them.

      For people who don’t have a lot of spare cash themselves, pricing a creative product can be really tough. So, price them high enough that you can live without fear of the next economic downturn and still have money for charitable contributions, not so low that others struggling to buy any pants at all can afford them. Sri Lanka and Vietnam are making plenty of pants for them. Once you build your business, you’ll be able to show them how to turn their creative ideas into enough cash to buy themselves a few pairs of your freeing and inspiring pants.

  2. Hello, my name is Summer and I just watched Barbara on a TED talk she did about isolation being a dream killer! I have been so intensely moved and I have always wanted to be apart of a community like this. I had no idea about a community like this one being possible until I heard her speak about it.

    My wish is to make paintings with & for people, one in particular being Taylor Swift❤️
    My obstacle is that I can’t get in touch with her to work on a painting with & for her. She has been such a big inspiration for me in my life and I just want to repay her & others❤️

  3. I like healing which is focused on the self-healing of the body and the mind. I have been told of the power emanating from my hands now but not enriched enough by it, so looking at SEO or better communication. They are so much in the mind they forget mostly everything and the process. It seems like people are more into quick-fix mechanical/physical solutions. My massage therapy is unique and effective, but I am tired of the struggles and want big changes now. I am not sure if I want to teach, if so I would like to do so in person and leave a legacy to a country. I seem to be only excited by the power of the chi/healing and its impact on people but now what is exciting is how the mind heals and probably found that solution too.
    I think I have discussed the pros and cons above, I hope it is clear. If you need other clarifications let me know.

  4. Hello my name is Rose and my dream is to have a therapy farm for kids from troubled homes who need to feel safe and escape life’s stresses. It would be free for all children including little ones in foster homes & orphanges. It would allow them a place to connect with an animal that has been rescued from a bad situation or has a special need/disability and allow the child to open their blocked heart and feel a deep sense of purpose and connection with an animal who also experienced fear and trauma.

    My obstacle is the farm property in Boulder County where my community of friends all are and I know this are would embrace and support such a non-profit. Real estate here is so expensive and it’s in the millions for a small farm.

    I am open to leasing some farm space and have the animal experience as well as management skills. This is simply a place to have the animals and allow for visitors and parking.

    I realize my dream may mean leaving my hometown, but I thought I would try on here and see what happens! Throwing it out to the universe! Thanks everyone.

    • If you had the property, would fund-raising (to feed the animals and pay your helpers) be something you love doing? How about managing other people? Dealing with vendors who are late supplying food and supplies? Making sure you have the right insurance and licenses and legal paperwork? In many cases, these are obstacles waiting to happen for someone with a great idea, and the solution is to find a horse rescue place or a horse therapy place happy to handle all of that, where your special talents and interests and caring are needed.

      For example, Barbara Sher helped someone trying to raise cash to open a retreat center or spa to recognize that what she really loves is booking yoga instructors and mediation guides and guest speakers and sitting in on their classes. All of the rest of the job felt like work to her, work she imagined was necessary to live her dream. Yet many people happily running spas and retreat centers really dislike the part of the work that she loved, and she could serve multiple retreat centers and spas and spend time at all of them.

      Here are some places I found in your area that just might be waiting for someone like you to join them and their horses:
      https://chr.org/
      https://www.medicinehorse.org/
      https://www.rmridingtherapy.org/
      https://www.ctrcinc.org/
      https://www.equuslibere.com/
      https://www.wildsongranch.com/
      https://opalcounselingcenter.com/

      • These are all excellent points and I actually volunteer at a couple of the places you listed! I’m going to ask the one I don’t know yet, Medicine Horse, if I can volunteer and see what comes from that. They just moved to an enormous new location just 10 min. from me!! Thanks so much for taking the time to list all those links Patty!

      • Dear Patty,

        could you provide a link or the source to the example you are talking about, where Barbara helped that person figure out exactly the part they liked the most in helping yoga centers? To do with bookings?

        Thank you!

        • I believe I heard her speak about it, Natalya. I cannot recall at which event, though. And it might be in one of her books. Or even Hanging Out. I wish I knew where. Sorry.

        • Dear Natalya, dear all

          Barbara mentioned it often, and it is for me the key of her work.

          One source, that I found:
          Have a look in the Book “Wishcraft” chapter 4,
          and read the whole chapter.
          Keep an eye on “Touchstone” (German: Wesenskern).
          she describes examples on how to follow your heart / goal even if it seems unreachable, by finding out the essence of it.

          Wishcraft it is availabe online for free as PDF
          http://wishcraft.com/wishcraft_complete.pdf

          • Dear Natalya, dear all

            Barbara mentioned it often, and it is for me the key of her work.

            One source, that I found:
            Have a look in the Book “Wishcraft” chapter 4,
            and read the whole chapter.
            Keep an eye on “Touchstone” (German: Wesenskern).
            she describes examples on how to follow your heart / goal even if it seems unreachable, by finding out the essence of it.

            Wishcraft it is availabe online for free as PDF
            http://wishcraft.com/wishcraft_complete.pdf

            PS: or in other words: what need (Bedürfnis) would be met, when you do, what you want to do,
            for example: an actress: is it, being famous (to be seen), helping others (contribution), being a star (luxus), acting various roles (creativity), travelling to various stages (variety, couriousity), meeting other actors (social aspects), … – and then you can start going for this

          • Dear Astrid and Patty,

            thank you very much for replying to this! Astrid, I have the book, will go look! ❤️ Very kind of you to find it.

            Much appreciated,

            Warmly,

            Natalya

  5. Hello my name is Rose and my dream is to have a therapy farm for kids from troubled homes who need to feel safe and escape life’s stresses. It would be free for all children including little ones in foster homes & orphanges. It would allow them a place to connect with an animal that has been rescued from a bad situation or has a special need/disability and allow the child to open their blocked heart and feel a deep sense of purpose and connection with an animal who also experienced fear and trauma.

    My obstacle is the farm property in Boulder County where my community of friends all are and I know this are would embrace and support such a non-profit. Real estate here is so expensive and it’s in the millions for a small farm.

    I am open to leasing some farm space and have the animal experience as well as management skills. This is simply a place to have the animal and allow for visitors and parking.

    I realize my dream may mean leaving my hometown, but I thought I would try on here and see what happens! Throwing it out to the universe! Thanks everyone.

    • While waiting to get your own property, could you approach one of the farm sanctuaries in your area and offer to start the program with the foster kids? Would give them publicity and you a start to building your program!

    • Not sure if this is relevant at all but it just sprung to mind. I worked with a lovely group of therapy farms here in the UK called jamies farm. They offer residentials for young people most likely leave the schooling systems for whatever reasons and are always looking for volunteers all training, food and accommodation provided. There may be something similar near you and you could find a way to volunteer for a week and just follow on from there sort of one step at a time and see who you meet and what connections you make. Or come to the UK!

      • This is such great advice, just get out there to the places that have the animals and start making the connections one by one to see what comes my way. I’m so grateful for your comment and this group. I was trying to bite off more than I can chew.

  6. Hi All,
    This is Layla from NY. Here are my wishes and obstacles. 1) I want a successful business doing these 4 things predominantly A: selling insurance I want people to be protected and create generational wealth for their families. I hate that people are not prepared for when life smacks them down. B: I want to be a life coach I have my first 2 clients but I want more. I would love to focus on scanners because Barbara’s work has been a light in my life in the best way possible and I want to do that for others. I first read Wishcraft in 1994 when I was 17. C: Copywriting because I think that is a skill that is essential to life. D: High Ticket Sales I want to be able to make major shifts in the world and being able to pull big money will be essential. I want to make at least $3M per year doing these things. 2) I want to have and work with a success team because I love the idea of helping make people’s dreams come true it was always my favorite concept in Barbara’s work. Having a team of people dedicated to that purpose seems incredibly awesome. 3) I want to get married to an amazing man and have children.

    My obstacles. I am not qualified enough yet, im on the verge. I am qualified for the insurance and the coaching but I need to work on the copywriting and High Ticket sales skills. I think I will be where I need to by January but I am not confident in taking clients in doing that yet. I need the guy to marry and have kids with. I need clients to make the above businesses a success. I have been trying to do everything alone and I forgot what Barbara said about isolation until I was telling someone I believed to be a scanner about her and she mentioned the Ted Talk and it was then I saw AHA! I forgot about that. Anyway that is where I am right now. I will read the comments below to see if I have any ideas to help anyone else. I have an abundance of them, all the time I want people to use them to make their dreams come true.

  7. Hello Louise Williams,

    I’m inspired by your reaching out ….

    This sentence you wrote caught my attention: “I want to live an adventurous life that it’s supported by my own business.”

    How long and where have you been living overseas and what have you been doing to make money and enjoy life?

    I’m pushing 8o (I just turned 78) I lived a gypsy lifestyle till my mid thirties.

    I’m an artist and own a trailer, but I’m too secure and comfortable where I live and feel stuck here surviving. Worst of it is I’m not skilled at sustaining relationships.

    I want to live an adventurous life that supports what I love: being in nature, continuing to learn in the area of arts and crafts and sharing my art and myself as an artist.

    My goal is to sell the trailer and buy an RV. But …………………..gotta find help to make this change up…..

    • Hi Joypallas,
      Have you thought about starting a YouTube channel to share your art. All you need is a cell phone. Also I believe dailypainting.com allows you to post your art daily so people can buy it. I have to double check but I am pretty sure that you can do that.

      How much do you think you can you get for your trailer to then be able to purchase the RV. Have you started researching the prices of RV’s yet?

  8. Hello everyone,
    I can’t believe I am doing this. I’m an introvert and it’s hard for me to express myself let alone my dreams or goals. I’ve been living overseas and I feel like my time in my current home has run out its course. However I don’t know where to move next. I’m almost 50 years old and I’m very stressed out about saving for retirement (having enough money for healthcare expenses and basic needs) and I want to live an adventurous life that it’s supported by my own business.

    I have been looking at the map of the world plenty of times trying to see if there’s a place that calls my attention but so far nothing has happened. As you can see, I am absolutely loss about what to do. Any guidance will be truly appreciated.

    • Hi, Loiuse!
      Maybe describe what would make you happy in a place? Like, do you love mountains, the ocean, or want a place with museums and nice restaurants….etc. That would help us help you find a place!
      And what is an adventurous life to you?
      And if you can’t describe what kind of place you would like to live, maybe write about what kind of place you absolutely would never want to live in and we can turn it around and find what you would like in a place. (A little trick Barbara had).
      Let us know some more info so we can help!

      • Hi Karla,
        Thanks for your questions! I think I’ll be happy in a place where my home is surrounded by mountains and greenery but close to a city or town where I can enjoy nice food and art and have a community that support my spiritual growth.

        Adventurous life is the opportunity to travel often with my dogs and partner to meet other communities, their food and their culture and h. I love learning about the history of the places I visit and how the communities grow and thrive. I also love learning new things; music, astrology, gardening, yoga and spiritual practices.

        Thanks from sharing Barbara’s trick I don’t want to live in a place with a lot of snow in the winter. I can handle some cold weather but extreme temperatures and towns of snow(hot and cold) are not great for my health.

        I don’t want to live in a place where I feel isolated or where I can’t connect with the locals. I also want find a place where you can access good health care services and there are plenty of activities for seniors. I want live in a place where people 50 plus are valued and play a key role in their community.

        Thanks Karla your questions are really valuable.

        • Hi Louise, your wish resonates with me because I’m looking for the same place. I’ve narrowed my search to a few states, which are all the way across the country from my current location. I turned 67 yesterday, and am a single woman with pets. I don’t know anyone in the places I’m considering. The logistics of moving and the fear of being lost and alone go around and around in my head.
          Forgive me for piggybacking on your post. I’d be interested in reading your insights about these things as you prepare to move. Thank you.

  9. Hi there S.K., thank you so much for your response – I am very grateful for your feedback!
    In reply: I am in my 4th year of this PhD, it got set back a lot by the lockdown during the pandemic. I like the idea of teaching via a blog, it would be possible once I’ve got the degree itself. I have actually tried teaching craft, and found this didn’t work in my home context. The issue was that I ended up teaching for low pay, instead of weaving art, myself. I like the investing idea, I will research that.
    Thank you too for your good wishes, and all the best to you too.

    • Oh, I see. I happen to know someone whose PhD got delayed by lockdown like you. But it still got completed, and so did the research of their colleagues who were in the same boat. Your research will work out too, because it’s not the unlikeliest thing in the world, and because it’s meant to be.
      That same person invests small amounts…that’s how I know that small bits of profit help.
      Thank you for your regards.

  10. Replying to drummer Ian in Nashville:

    Ian, try finding people to connect with via Stage 32. It is a large platform for creatives founded by Rich Botto. It is full of folks both starting out and deeply connected to the industry. All the best to you!

    Natalya

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